Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Still no answers

We didn't get the definitive results we were hoping for today. His MRI showed a larger area of abnormality and the PET scan showed some minor changes from the last one. The PET showed a slightly increased metabolic activity that could be interpreted as normal tissue or the beginning of tumor activity. The conclusion was that they still could not say whether this was tumor progression or necrosis and edema from radiation.

Because it is putting pressure on his brain stem and causing issues for Joseph he has been on steroids, which have helped to reduce the pressure. Over the past week, his head tilting has basically gone away and his balance improves daily. He's not quite back to being as fast and steady as he was, but he's not falling over much anymore. So the short term plan is to continue his low dose steroids.

The long term plan is still up in the air. The only way to be sure whether it is progression or pseudo is either to show a decrease in the size of the area with repeated scans over time or to surgically biopsy the area. Because of the location of this spot, if it continues to expand Joseph would have much worsening symptoms regardless of whether it is tumor or necrosis. We are meeting with the surgeon who did his operation in December to discuss if surgery to this area would be an option. If it is an option, then it would remove a lot of the area, take the pressure off of his brain stem, and give us a biopsy and a conclusive answer as well. On the other hand it would be another surgery with another recovery. So we might have some tough decisions to make if it is an option. We'll find out tomorrow.

Joseph is doing well. He did not like being here at first, but after the needle came out yesterday, he has returned to his normal goofy and hyper self. As I am writing this, he is getting his eyelashes trimmed by Gillian. He was complaining that he couldn't see and we realized that his ridiculously long lashes are so thick that they are clumping together and blocking his vision. How many moms can say they've given their child's eyes a hair cut? She really is Super Mom.

24 comments:

Carrigan Family said...

Praying always for you guys - no great words of wisdom - just wish we could all wave a magic wand and it would all go away.

Heinzfeet said...

glad to hear some news. We've been praying for you and wondering how things were looking. Maybe you just need to get Joseph some good ole eyelash curlers to get those out of his eyes! :)

Jody (atlanta) said...

Margaret, Laurie and I playing at my house...praying and thinking of you. We MISS YOU and constantly think of you. LOVE YOU ALL!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. I know that there will be prayers lifted up for Joseph around the world tonight. We will be praying for a sense of peace and a restful night and that God's hand will direct decisions that will be made. Love, Martha and Karl

RDC CCC Mom said...

Our family sends prayers for peace in your hearts and minds. I pray that God would give you a sense of His grace, His peace, His sovereignty and His love, as you continue to love your son and get him the best possible care!

ingrid said...

hi gillian allen joseph and holly. just to let you that we are thinking of you all here in sandycove. we hope for the best for joseph over the next few days. the photos and videos are wonderful and show how much fun they have and how they enjoy life to the full. lots of love from ingrid and james. xx

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray for you and all of your family daily. I sincerely hope that you feel the prayers being said all around the world for your dear sweet little boy.

Kate Etue said...

praying for wisdom and peace... and I hope you videotaped cutting the eyelashes!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear some news as well... love the trimming of the eyelashes!
The Booth boys, their mommy and daddy pray everynight for Joseph and his family!
Love,
Randi

suzebab said...

Hi Peabody family,

I have been praying for you guys today. Thanks for the update...you guys are so faithful to let us know! I saw Joe's eyelashes last Sunday at the pool, don't worry about messing up the cut Charlie said, "the would probably grow back by next week." I said, " you guys could just go to Walmart and get some more." We love you guys and hope to see you soon.

The Babcocks

Elizabeth said...

Still praying for you all and the decisions you'll need to make. May you see God's faithfulness daily.

Anonymous said...

We can't imagine how difficult the last few days have been for you. We love you all very much and can't thank you enough for taking time to update the blog. Praying continually for you guys.
kissells

suzanne morris said...

Oh my goodness, I love that picture!
You have been on my mind and heart nonstop the past three days. I have been praying for peace for Joseph, despite the poking and for you to feel God's arms surrounding you and carrying you no matter what news you were hearing. Praying for clear direction, wisdom, unity, and miraculous healing.
With love, Suzanne

Slotkins' said...

We love you!!! We're praying all the time for you.

Brea said...

So difficult to not have an answer. I'm thankful the steriods are helping with symptoms, and will pray for wisdom for you and the doctors as further decisions are made.

Wrights said...

we are praying daily for you all, especially for the upcoming decisions.
the wrights

trmills said...

Thank you for the update; it's good to know the latest, even if it is inconclusive. We will pray for clarity and wisdom for you and the doctors as you make some hard decisions. Much love to you all!

courtney said...

Praying for you guys...

kellyr said...

Praying for you in Palm Beach Gardens, FL....Praying praying praying

Sara Wade said...

We'll be praying for you guys as you make whatever decisions come up in the next few days. I love the beautiful new picture of Joe!

Love,
Sara Wade

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture of Joe!! His handsomeness took my breath away when I opened up to your page.
You two have such gorgeous kids!

Anonymous said...

Love all you guys and praying for him. -scott cunningham

Elizabeth said...

I am continuing to pray for Joseph and everybody that surrounds him! God bless you all! He has a great family surrounding him to give him the love he needs! :)

redeemedintohope said...

thank you for the update...have been wondering and praying this last week. continuing to lift you all up. he has been faithful and he will contine to be.